Niçard love poem
La tiéu image en lou miralh
Es lou miéu pu bèu pouèma
Ma fai lèu que si cancèla
Es lou miéu darnié "ti vouòli ben"!
→ French poem ←
There are six Occitan dialects: Gascon, Languedocian, Limousin, Auvergnat, Provençal, and Vivaro-Alpine (Alpine Provençal). Nissart or Niçois (a form of coastal provencal), because of its proximity, shows Italian influences (Liguria).
Provencal itself can be divided into four dialectal varieties (rhodanian, maritime, gavot (Forcalquier-Castellane), Niçard).
The provencal variations are essentially phonetic, except for Niçard which preserves many archaisms. This is due to the political separation with Provence in the end of the 14th century.
If the Oc languages literature is old and important, in Provence the literature is important and old too. Mistral and his disciples the felibres are the worthy representatives. Their provencal dialect was the rhodanian variant.
Occitan language will be first called limousin in the 12th century because it was the region of the first troubadours, then it will be called Provençal because it was the name in the Middle Ages of the whole province.
We owe to Dante the term "Oc". Currently the word provençal designates the dialects of the current Provence and Oc those of the neighboring province. In fact all this remains ambiguous and all these dialects are of course forms of Occitan.